“I think we can go,” muttered Harry once no one said anything.
Harry got slowly out of the chair, nobody stopped him.
Harry and Anne legged it for the door before anyone decided to change their minds.
“How’d it go Harry?” asked Mr Weasley, “Dumbledore didn’t say.”
“Cleared off all charges,” beamed Harry.
“That’s wonderful Harry!” exclaimed Mr Weasley giving them both a hug.
“Could I have a word quickly?” asked a deep voice.
They turned around to see Madam Bones.
“I wish to apologise for the events of today, if the minister hadn’t insisted.”
“This wasn’t your fault Amelia,” said Mr Weasley.
“Thank you, Arthur,” she replied feeling slightly better and turning to leave. “Oh, and by the way, Happy Birthday to both of you.”
“She’s right,” stuttered Harry, “it is our birthday!”
“Let’s get you two home,” said Mr Weasley beaming.
When they got home half an hour later, Remus and Sirius were waiting for them eagerly on the front steps.
“Oh no you two can’t go in,” said Sirius blocking the doorway, “it’s time for your birthday surprise.”
“How’d it go?” asked Remus.
“Cleared of all charges,” said Harry.
“I should get back to work,” said Mr Weasley, “see you all tonight.”
Remus and Sirius took Harry and Anne to the cinema and then they spent an afternoon in the park. It was kind of weird to think that they weren’t going to be getting a birthday party that night, they usually would have all their friend’s round for a sleepover.
As they were living at Grimmauld Place so they could hide from Voldemort and his supporters, having so many people round was not a good idea.
“Do you want to go open presents and then we can get a takeaway later?” asked Sirius at about five o’clock.
“Sure,” shrugged Harry getting up from where he had been lying in the grass.
They got back to the house and it seemed to be completely empty. Grimmauld Place was never empty, there was always someone there, one of the Weasleys, a member of the Order or maybe one of the two house elves.
“Hello?” called Harry in the hallway.
“Hello?” he repeated going into the sitting room where the presents were being kept.
“Where is everyone?” asked Anne turning on the light in the sitting room.
“Surprise!!” yelled about thirty people jumping out from behind sofas and bookcases.
The sitting room had been transformed, it was full of banners, some were birthday banners, but others said Congratulations, there was even a multi coloured banner reading He Got Off!!!
There were also multi coloured streamers and balloons floating all around the room. The room was beyond packed, every from the Order was there, except from Snape who had managed to find some excuse to miss the party and Dumbledore who was busy that evening. Even Professor McGonagall and Hagrid had come.
The whole Scamander family had come, they already knew the address of the house as Irwin and Rolf came round every few days to visit their friends occasionally accompanied by the twins who loved Grimmauld Place because it was great to play hide and seek in because the house was so big.
All the Weasleys were there including Bill who had his arm around the waist of none other than Fleur Delacour. The only two missing were Charlie who was in Romania and Percy.
Xenophilius and Luna Lovegood had also come, as had Hermione and her parents.
“Happy Birthday!” screamed Averett and Aislynn jumping out from behind the sofa and coming to give Anne and Harry a hug.
Averett and Aislynn were now eight years old and would be starting Hogwarts in only three years. Whereas their father Landon and their two older brothers Rolf and Irwin had dark red hair, Averett and Aislynn’s hair was nearly jet black like their mothers.
“Thank you,” said Anne returning Aislynn’s hug and taking a tiny bouquet of wildflowers from her that Aislynn had picked for her that afternoon.
“Wow!” exclaimed Harry, “there are a lot of people here, is there a meeting or something?”
“Nope,” said Tonks, “this is all for you, we’ve been getting ready all day.”
“I told you we were going to celebrate however the trial went, but now we’ve got double the reason to celebrate,” beamed Sirius.
“Also double the kids means double the party,” added Remus.
“So this is why we weren’t allowed in the house earlier?” asked Harry, “you were all busy getting ready for the party?”
“Correct young Harry,” said Fred.
There were two huge tables running along one edge of the sitting room which were full to bursting with food which Mrs Weasley, Dobby and Kreacher had been making all day. There was baked potatoes, quiche, mini pizzas, tiny burgers, sandwiches, crudités and that was just the savoury table. The other table was even more full, there was a chocolate fountain with marshmallows and strawberries for dipping, pink and white iced petit fours, tiny meringues, and of course a massive birthday cake, the bottom half was chocolate fudge and the top half was a plain sponge cake with strawberry frosting.
Anne helped herself to a burger and some crudités before she dived into the second table sweet tooth first. She was halfway through loading a plate with a piece of strawberry frosted birthday cake, some chocolate strawberries and some meringues when she was approached by Fleur.
“Bonjour Anne, Bonne Anniversaire!”
“Merci Fleur, thank you so much for coming.”
“Oh it was nothing,” Fleur gushed, “you and Harry were so nice to me last year it was a pleasure to come.”
“So what’s this with you and Bill?”
“What do you mean?” asked Fleur with a glint in her eye.
“You have good taste, Bill’s a good guy.”
“And good looking with it,” chuckled Fleur going off to go and talk to Harry.
“There aren’t too many people here for you are there?” asked Remus coming up to her after a while, “I would have warned you, but I didn’t want to ruin the surprise.”
“It’s great Remus, its lovely to see everyone,” said Anne, “besides if it gets a bit much I can escape up to my room.”
“Not to mention,” she chuckled looking over to Harry, “the man of the hour is having the time of his life.”
Harry had spent the last half an hour explaining the events of the trial to all the guests, and his impersonation of an irate Fudge seemed to get better every single time that he told the story.
“Who wants presents?” asked Sirius over the crowd after everyone had been talking for about an hour.
“Me!” called Harry sticking his hand in the air and dashing over to the huge pile of presents on the edge of the room.
There were two piles of presents and Harry dived into his gifts headfirst.
Everyone had brought presents, some people it was just chocolate frogs or a gift certificate for Flourish and Blott’s, even the people who didn’t know Anne that well yet knew how much of a reader she was.
There was even a present from Professor McGonagall.
“I know you’re better at charms than Transfiguration, but you are still a very gifted student in my subject,” she said as Anne picked up a small rectangular parcel, “I thought you might appreciate this.”
Anne opened the parcel and found a copy of The Beginners Guide to Transfiguration.
“I already have this book,” said Anne confused, “it’s a set book for first and second years.”
“Open it,” she chuckled.
On the flyleaf in navy blue ink, the book was signed Emeric Switch.
“It’s signed,” she stuttered.
Anne flicked through the rest of the book and found that it had actually been annotated by the author.
“How?” Anne asked confused.
“Emeric was a good friend of mine, he left that to me before he died to give to any student that I thought would appreciate it the most, that is you.”
“Woah,” muttered Irwin looking over Anne’s shoulder.
“Could I borrow that please Anne?” asked Landon who was an academic who wrote on Transfiguration himself.
“Sure,” said Anne handing Landon the book as she continued to unwrap her presents.
Anne got old photographs from Moody and Hestia Jones; Moody had given her a copy of a photograph of the original Order of The Phoenix. Lily and James were stood at the front of the group next to Frank and Alice Longbottom all four of them were beaming.
Hestia Jones had given her something very different though. All of the photos of her parents usually didn’t include her mother until later on and nearly always included Peter if Lily actually was in the picture.
These photographs were different though, Hestia had been in the year below Lily at school, but Frank and Alice had been a year older. The photographs Hestia had given her had been taken of Hestia, Alice and Lily when they were all in the Order together.
The photo on the top of the pile was of Hestia, Lily and Alice sat on a garden wall laughing at something off camera.
“We were all very good friends, apart from Emmeline we were some of the only women in the Order and Emmeline was older than us,” Hestia explained, “when that picture was taken Fabian and Gideon had just played a prank on Aberforth on the other side of the garden. They were Fred and George’s uncles and predecessors.”
Anne found herself looking at a picture of a heavily pregnant Alice sat next to an even larger Lily because Lily was expecting twins. They were both laughing on the sofa eating large amounts of chocolate.
“I think you three were born about a fortnight after that photo,” said Hestia.
There was another picture of Frank, Alice, Lily and James enjoying a joke.
Looking at the photos it seemed that Neville looked like his father apart from the fact that he had his mother’s face.
The best photo of the lot though had been taken when her and Harry were about six months old.
“We had to set up a kind of creche during Order meetings,” chuckled Hestia, “there were three babies of the same age, Neville’s only a day older than you, and all of your parents were in the Order. We had to set up a playpen on the edge of the room that the meeting was in, it was sometimes a struggle to concentrate because we all wanted to play with you.”
In the picture they were all about six months, James was holding Harry and Harry was trying to steal his glasses, Frank was holding Neville and Alice was looking extremally proud because she was holding Anne whilst Lily took the photograph. Frank was helping Neville wave his little fist at the camera and Alice was rocking Anne gently back and forth in her arms.
Anne looked at the photos for a few minutes.
“Do you mind if I show these to Neville?”
“Of course,” said Hestia, “I wish I’d kept better touch with you two and Neville,” she muttered, “but after the war….”
“It’s ok,” said Anne, “I understand it must have been hard losing your two best friends so close together, seeing us would have just reminded you of them.”
“I’m glad you like the photos,” Hestia beamed before going off to talk to Emmeline.
Julian and Sirius had given her a large variety of new records for her record player, including a record by The New Seekers.
By the end of last year, the Ravenclaw common room had started to look forward to their daily music fix. This led to eight-nine o’clock every evening becoming music hour and they would all play their favourite records. The desks would get cleared of books, the only reason the desks were used for during that hour was for dancing on top off.
The Ravenclaw Common Room was usually fairly dignified, full of people studying or playing chess quietly, but one hour a day, they let out their creative side and enjoyed music.
Anne was surprised to find towards the bottom of the pile of presents a parcel from Brenda Poteger.
Thank you for being so nice to my niece Brenda and for saving her from that werewolf a few years back. Me and my wife have been looking after Brenda since her parents died in a car crash when she was five.
We were all very surprised when we found out she was a witch and when she was invited to attend Hogwarts. We’re all very happy that our Brenda has settled in so well to her school.
Brenda told me that you’re a huge fan of the Seekers and that you’ve been introducing the rest of the Common Room to ‘muggle’ music as you call it, I hope that you introduce them to The Carpenters at some point.
Hope you and your brother Harry have a lovely birthday, thank you again Keith Poteger.
P.S. I’ll send you tickets for our next reunion show.”
As well as the letter there was a record and a photograph both of which had been signed by Keith, Judith, Bruce and Athol.
“What you got there?” asked Remus.
Anne was beyond words, so she passed the letter and the gifts to Remus.
“Wow,” muttered Remus, “who’s this Brenda girl?”
“A Ravenclaw, she’s in the year below Luna.”
Tonks was going to take her shopping in muggle London again, but this time Fleur decided she wanted to join them, and they were going to have a girls day out.
The Scamanders had given her a hardcopy illustrated set of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Remus had given her the usual books as well as some battery-operated candles.
“I know you get scared of lit candles and they don’t have electricity at Hogwarts, but these just have a switch on the bottom.”
“Thanks Remus,” said Anne, she was already worried that she was going to burn herself on the candles at school, she even got scared when holding long ones in case the dripping wax burnt her.
“So we’ve done food and presents,” muttered Sirius counting on his fingers, “we must be forgetting something, oh yes I believe I had a request to re watch one of the films from last year,” he grinned, pulling out a tape of Monty Python’s Life Of Brian.
“I think we should get the twins home,” said Gwen quickly trying to get Averett and Aislynn out of the house before they were introduced to Monty Python at the young age of eight.
Quite a few of the adults left at this point, but all the Weasleys stayed as they lived there, including Bill and Fleur. Rolf and Irwin watched the film too as they were staying the night. Hestia and Emmeline also stayed to find out what all the fuss was about. Professor McGonalgall settled herself into the sofa between Remus and Sirius remembering listening into one of their Monty Python records late at night nearly twenty years ago, she was eager to try and put some faces to the voices.
Anne sat down in front of Remus and Tonks leaning against the sofa and Irwin sat down next to her.
Sirius dimmed the lights and the film came on the television.
By the end of the film it was nearly eleven o’clock and the adults went home, Mr and Mrs Weasley, Remus Tonks and Sirius all went to bed. But everyone else went upstairs to go and fetch their duvets and pillows and then continued the party in the sitting room until dawn snuggled up under their duvets watching videos. Even Bill and Fleur joined them as they didn’t have work in the morning.
The Weasleys particularly enjoyed the Fawlty Towers tapes and by the end of the first tape Ron had declared that John Cleese was the best Python.
“Oh no he’s not!” protested Anne. “Michaels the best Python!”
“Yeah he is his travel books are amazing,” agreed Irwin who had borrowed some of Anne’s Michael Palin travel journals.
“Being a good travel writer doesn’t make him the funniest!” shouted Ginny.
“Oh, just you wait,” muttered Anne going through the collection of video tapes until she found Ripping Yarns which was a comedy series that Michael Palin had written, directed and starred in.
“Ok so he is funny,” admitted Ron, having watched the first tape, “but Johns funnier!”
“No he’s not!” yelled Irwin.
“Yes, he is!” said Ginny.
“I like Graham,” muttered Harry.
“Graham’s dead you know,” pointed out Anne.
“What?” shouted half the room turning to look at Anne.
“Oh yeah he’s been dead for six years,” said Anne.
“No way!” exclaimed Fred and George.
“Look guys,” interrupted Bill, “lets just admit its very sad that Grahams dead, and that everyone is entitled to have their own favourite Python.”
“Yeah if we keep arguing about it you might wake your mum up,” added Rolf.
“And we’ll all get sent up to bed,” groaned Ginny.
When Sirius came down at seven o’clock in the morning the next day he found them all still wide awake and just finishing the first season of Fawlty Towers.
“I’m gonna regret this,” he muttered as he pulled on his jacket after breakfast.
He came back at ten o’clock and found that not only had nobody moved by Remus and Tonks had joined them, as had Arthur who was taking a keen interest in this form of muggle entertainment. It was a Saturday, so no one had work today
Sirius was carrying a bulging shopping bag which he handed to Anne and Harry.
“Think of it as a late birthday present,” grinned Sirius.
Harry pulled out the object on the top of the bag and found that the bag was full of Video tapes.
“Please don’t tell me you’ve done what I think you’ve done,” asked Remus looking at the Video tape Harry was holding and looking ominously at the bag.
“Why what’s he done?” asked Fred.
“He’s bought every single episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, all twelve bloody tapes of it.”
“Sirius?” asked Fred.
“Can we adopt you as our Uncle?” finished George.